How to Better Connect With Your Teenager

Teens’ Needs and How to Better Connect With Your Teenager

Adolescence can be the most beautiful, but also the most difficult stage in a person’s life. The so-called ‘teenage rebellion’ can result from the fact that teenagers slowly begin to transform from children into adults. They then have a natural need to find their own identity and to mark their distinctiveness.

Many parents and carers at this time have difficulty coping with the behaviour of their teenagers. They feel they have lost the connection with them. How to reach a teenager? How to deal with them in order not to lose trust and help them during this difficult time? We have some helpful tips for you that we hope can help.

Allow them to have their own opinion.

Young people struggle with discovering their own identity, making friends, trying to adapt to their surroundings, wanting to be successful at school and discovering what satisfies them and builds their self-esteem. 

They start to build their relationships with parents, grandparents, teachers and other people. They develop abilities and interests as well as their individuality. 

Puberty is also a period of intense growth and changes in the body, making young people more irritable. In addition, they begin to strongly manifest their individuality, e.g. through clothing, hairstyle, tattoo, room decor, etc. This is all to emphasise that they grow up and therefore have their own opinions, needs and problems.  Let your teenagers speak up and have their own opinions. Try to talk calmly and explain that everyone has the right to their views and opinions, and this is respected in your household.

Be interested.

Show interest not only in whether your teens have fulfilled their responsibilities but also in the rest of their life. Do you know who they like to hang out with? What are their favourite subjects at school? What are they planning to do during the holiday? Who would they like to be in the future? Spending time together and simply talking “about nothing” can bring you closer together. It will also help to find out whether there is anything wrong, or whether there are problems at school or with friends.

Do not shout.

Shouting and giving orders is the least effective way to reach a teen, or rather a person of all ages. As adults, we don’t like being yelled at or told to do something. Therefore, instead of screaming, try to calmly talk about what you would like from them. Instead of ‘Clean up this mess!’ try to tell your teenager about your feelings and needs, for example, “I don’t like it when you leave this mess behind for me to clean.” Calm, factual messages are certainly more effective than shouted orders. Shouting will probably make young people feel more defensive and go deeper into their shell, which is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.

Don’t pretend how well you understand them.

Teenagers’ feelings are something special to them. Young people think that only they can suffer/enjoy/worry so much. Therefore, the phrase, ‘I know exactly what you feel’ can feel patronising. In times of crisis, let them know that you are there for them and will be happy to hear what they have to say, if, of course, they want to talk.

Treat your teenagers like adults.

Or at least try – as much as possible. Let them make their own decisions – from where to go for the weekend to what high school or university to choose. Independent decisions shape their self-esteem and teach them to be responsible for their own decisions. Therefore, often use phrases such as ‘decide for yourself’ or ‘what do you think about it?’. Let them feel that they are important and can do some things on their own.

Take it easy.

The world will not end if your teens’ room is not in perfect order all the time. What if they come home from school slam the door and locked themselves in their room? Take it easy, everyone can have a bad day! Your teenager is not little anymore, and you need to let them express emotions, experience them and learn how to cope with them. It won’t help if every time your teen has a bad day you react with strong emotions and worry. Be observant and patient, but don’t overstress.

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